Colombo, Jan 14 (IANS) The total number of Covid-19 cases in Sri Lanka has surpassed the 50,000-mark, after over 600 new patients tested positive in the last 24 hours, according to the statistics from the country's Health Ministry.
The official figures showed that out of the total 50,229 positive patients, 43,267 patients had recovered and been discharged from hospitals, bringing down the active patient count to 6,715, Xinhua news agency.
A total of 247 deaths have been reported from the virus in the country.
Sri Lanka is presently facing a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic with three parliamentarians, including one cabinet minister, being infected with the virus in the past days.
According to officials, at least 32 parliamentarians are under isolation for coming in contact with the three legislators during parliamentary sessions held last week.
Earlier on Wednesday, health officials conducted PCR tests in the parliament premises where legislators and parliamentary staff members were tested for the Covid-19.
Officials said PCR tests will be conducted on Friday as well in order to reopen Parliament for sessions next week.
On Wednesday, Sri Lanka reported the first case of the new strain of the Covid-19 which is fast spreading in other countries after a British national who recently arrived in the island nation tested positive, the Health Ministry said.
The Ministry urged people not to panic, saying the patient had been under quarantine and had not come in contact with society.
New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS) The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has announced that it will launch a nationwide movement against the present Goods and Services Tax (GST) system which it claims has become "extremely complicated" because of several "arbitrary" amendments.
According to CAIT, the GST has become a hurdle in the smooth retail trade because of the complexities and arbitrariness of its provisions.
In a statement on Sunday, the traders' body said that it will convene a three-day conference of trade leaders of all states from February 8-10 at Nagpur to chalk out the future course of action. About 200 prominent trade leaders from across the country are likely to participate.
"Post-Covid, the retail trade is fighting hard for its survival and in such a situation, the GST system has become a devil for the business community due to several arbitrary amendments. In such a scenario, we have decided to oppose such amendments tooth and nail," the CAIT said in a statement.
CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that implementation of various programmes of the central Government have become a cause of severe pain for the traders, of which GST is one of the causes.
The present GST violates its basic fundamentals which were announced at the time of its implementation in 2017, he said.
"In place of 'Good and Simple Tax', it has become an obnoxious and complicated taxation system," he said.
Khandelwal added that the CAIT conference will also discuss e-commerce and the proposed e-commerce policy, empowering women entrepreneurs, appraisal of Mudra Scheme, easy availability of finance for traders, among others.
He was of the view that the retail trade stands neglected, although it generates an annual business turnover of Rs 80 lakh crore. As many as 8 crore traders in the country employ around 40 crore persons.